Sunday, August 23, 2015

Water and Wildflowers

Another kayak trip results in another wildflower first. I took my new kayak to a small local lake, presumably to fish a little. While paddling around the shoreline, I saw several nice Wildflowers plus this new one.
Water Smartweed (polygonum amphibium).
                                    #340 - Water Smartweed 

Others from the trip:
                           Arrowhead - A Water Plant 

              Cardinal Flower lobelia cardinalis

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Late Summer-Already???

I have a new kayak which I plan to use on ponds, lakes and maybe a really slow river, like the Greenbriar.
Today, I used it on a small pond near my house and fished places inassessable before. 

As I paddled around the shore line I found many late summer flowers plus a new wild flower for me, the Giant Bur-Reed,  Sparganium eurycarpum. 

There are male and female flowers shown here 
         #339- Giant Bur-Reed

Others seen today were:

                          Steeple Bush


                                Iron Weed

                             Virginia Bugleweed


Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Orchid

Early this Spring I saw an unusual dried seed pod which had characteristics of many Orchids that I have seen. So, I have been keeping an eye on it and today, I found it blooming. It is a Loesel's Twayblade, an Orchid that I have never seen or even looked for. I found it, like many others, just by being out and about and being observant. I spotted the seed pod on a logging road near my home while driving along. It has not been reported in Raleigh County before and is in the same vicinity of the Appalachin Twayblades I found last year (click for link), also a Raleigh County first.

Loesel's Twayblade with last years seedpod

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Orchids

Showy Orchis 
Two days ago (just before a nasty stomach virus knocked me down a couple of days) I went to a new favorite spot where I had seen emerging Showy Orchis and Yellow Lady Slippers  a couple weeks ago. This was a new site for these orchids which  I found just by being out and about.
 I saw Pink Lady Slipper leaves near here last fall and hoped for a trifecta of early orchids, but could not find them again
Yellow Lady Slippers

I had a couple of bird experiences this week. I am not a dedicated birder but do enjoy spotting new ones. I know its time for Warblers to show up here so I keep an eye out and spotted a pair of
Yellow Hooded Warblers.

Then today sitting on the porch I saw this Scarlet Tangier fly in and had the chance to grab a camera and lens to get this shot of a beautifully colored bird

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Smoky Mountains

Last Year, I spent a few days in Mid April in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This year, I found myself back again to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary. As usual, the days were for the tourist trap, but early mornings were mine for hikes. I went back to Porters Creek and Cove Hardwood trails, both reputed to be the best wildflower hikes in the Smokies. I enjoyed both hike, and love the Smoky Mountains, but as I have expanded my horizons in West Virginia, I can now find almost every wildflower here at home, the exceptions being White Fringed Phacelia and Yellow Trillium. I can remember every year hoping to see Showy Orchis along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and now, I hav found four locations here at home, two in the past two weeks, just by spending more time walking and exploring. A couple highlights were some White Fringed Phacelia that was light blue and a new wildflower.Below are many pictures from the trip.

White Fringed Phacelia (blue variation)

Streptopus lanceolatus (Rose Twisted Stalk)